JEET KUNE DO is not a system. A system is a formula or an established procedure used to attain an end. The Do in JKD means Art. An art is open to interpretation and expression. In Bruce's own words in a letter to Hawkins Cheung "No, I did not mean to create another style. JKD started out as my expression of Lop Sao." JKD, being an ART, lies over the realms of System and Concept. It lies in the realm of system because as was found, a person's techniques should be governed by Conservation of Movement, Non Telegraphic movements, and overall effectiveness, among others. It lies in the realm of concept, because each of those points applies differently to different people. Reason being because the way a person might do a non telegraphic movement might differ because of his body structure or attributes. His "expression" of non telegraphic movement will be different because of this. Because of this, a person in JKD is not "developing" techniques in a "restricted" set of guide rules or formulas. JKD is a more of a process of striping away what is there rather than learning. You are"recovering" things that have been with you all the time and have been lost or distorted by misguided manipulation or conditioning in every day life.

You have the desire to transcend that of petty technique and ideas. To forget everything you learn, and will learn. Your subconscious then takes over, and will assert "answers" spontaneously.

"To float in totality, to have no technique, is to have all technique." It is a growing process to reach that of JKD. The above quote should not be perceived as actually learning something and forgetting it, but similar to the statement a gentleman on here has at the end of his postings. "Before enlightenment, one chops wood, etc. After enlightenment, one chops wood, etc." Bruce Lee helped many people, such as Joe Lewis, apply his philosophies to improve their fighting skills, regardless of their original style. That is because JKD transcends that of "style". Hence, a person's original "roots" of technique are not important because they will be transcending them.

All of Bruce's students, including Bruce himself were involved in a "style" of martial arts at one time or another. Bruce as was known, studied Wing Chun, some Northern styles, T'ai Chi (under his father), and informally studied Ju-Jitsu under Professor Wally Jay (in fact it was Wally Jay who first suggested a style that would encompass all styles). He also sat in on or worked with people in many other systems while developing the ideas and stances that would later lead to forming JKD. Taky Kimura (who later ran the Seattle school when Bruce left for Oakland), was a Judoka. Charlie Woo was a Judoka. Jessie Glover, James W. DeMile and many others were street fighters. There were others that came from different martial art styles and systems (various Japanese, Chinese, and Korean systems too). Most of the students of Bruce's already had some fighting / martial arts background, including Gary Dill. So the idea that he "helped" these people far transcends the meaning of the word. They were ALL and still ARE students and practitioners of JKD.

JKD stripped them of their learned identity and was meant to return them to their natural beings. To "themselves". It was from there that they went on to their own expressions. Likewise this goes for your example of Joe Lewis. He had as much to do with helping to form JKD as many others did. When Joe came to study with Bruce, he was a Karateka. Upon training under Bruce and forming a friendship, he then "expressed" his "interpretation" of what Bruce was saying. Much of it still had a "Karate" type flavor, because he kept what he felt was useful for himself. His overall fighting "style" though, had changed because he was now an expression of himself.

His own "ideas" of what worked for him and what didn't. i.e. what was useful .During his tenure with Bruce, the two of them would watch and analyze allot of boxing films including those of Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali) to see how these fighters closed their distance to the opponent, maintained balance, and used different angles of attacks. Bruce and Joe would then discuss and form ideas together on what they had watched. Many of these discussions helped form what Bruce would later teach his students in class and what he practiced himself. So to say Bruce helped Joe Lewis is true, but it goes far deeper than that. Joe had just as much to do with many of the principals taught in JKD too. He was hesitant to have anyone become fixed in a set of techniques which become tradition.

What he taught were exercises that were meant to develop your skill, and ideas/concepts to be used in conjunction with your skill and body structure to "express" your fighting style. All these were meant to send you on your way to the ultimate goal of Jeet Kune Do. They are not meant to "define" Jeet Kune Do. To use these techniques and drills as the "way" or to define the "way", is a complete reversal of what you are trying to attain in JKD to begin with. "Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns."

"Learning Jeet Kune Do is not a matter of seeking knowledge or accumulating stylized pattern, but it is discovering the cause of ignorance.""Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all way and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques which serve it's end." According to Gary Dill, head of Self-Defense Systems (SDS), Jeet Kune Do, was taught specifically as a martial art while he was a student at Bruce Lee's Oakland School, although it has it's origins far before this. Lee's school itself had a system or "curriculum" to help teach the ideas and give the students the skills. The key words here are "school" and "curriculum". Just because that is how he chose to standardize it for the school students does not mean that that was the only "way" to do it, or that the drills or techniques defined the "way".

GM Vivek Kaushik

It was simply one way of presenting the information and giving the person the necessary skills to succeed in finding his "way". And even then, many times these varied from student to student. Go to any college and university across the US or the world and you will see this example. They have relatively the same "curriculum" in the intended major's. They have relatively all the same information to teach in the respective areas (new research and progress of course effects this). But what changes at every school is the way that the courses are taught. The personalities and personal insights of the people teaching them. Hence there were are many different "ways" to get the same information across, and give students the same skills. Where this separates is that the curriculum in no way defines the subject. It defines what skills you are taught, and is meant to give you the necessary insight to make your own decisions and to help you in the area once you leave the school. Talk to any student in a class and they will be variances on how a person approaches or views something.

The curriculum helps you to form your views and opinions, and back you up with practical experience and information. Likewise the curriculum at the Oakland School in NO WAY defined JKD. It was meant to help them LEARN ABOUT JKD, to get their skills to their peak, and to start them on their own "way". Once a student, progressed far enough, and once Bruce was able to judge the students ability and body structure, the student was then "guided" in working on more drills and areas to use his body structure to even more of an advantage, and to further guide them on their "way".
This is why many people's "way" of training for their potential and learning, itself, are different. Bruce himself learned and practiced a way totally different from his students. And what he practiced were nothing but tools to help him in his goal for JKD. They did not"define" JKD.

JKD or Jeet Ku ne Do is the only non-classical Gung Fu system in existence today. It was born from Lee's idea to take the best of Wing Chung Kung Fu,American Boxing , French Fencing and Grappling to bring them together as the ultimate combat art, from the ultimate combat artist. JKD has long since been known as the style of no style, but this term has been overused and to a great extent exaggerated to "allow" others to teach JKD without using actual Jet Ku ne Do techniques under the guise of defining the art as anything you want to make it. The art, which was formed by Lee in various stages, was finally named in the late 60's. While continuing to deny that JKD was a "style" he began to show his system to the public with great skepticism from the martial arts community and various Chinese individual who found his teachings to be discourteous to tradition.

While it is nothing in the martial arts for a founder of a martial art style to be young (most founders / grandmaster's of famous Chinese and Japanese systems were in their 20's) Lee's instruction of non- Chinese had the elders in an uproar. He was a pioneer in many different aspects in the martial arts. One of his famous quotes was Jeet Kune Do is only a name so don't fuss over it, but if he gave so little importance to the name why would he want it on his grave marker. This act would certainly lead one to believe that this name was important, and that it had significant meaning to him and the style known as Jeet Kune Do.

Today there are two basic JKD systems to choose from. The original JKD, and JKD concepts. The original JKD is as its name implies the core art as founded. The concepts rely on other arts in an attempt to improve Lee's system. Neither is better than the other, only different. The original art itself is a modification of Lee's first martial art style of Wing Chun Kung Fu. So many modifications in fact that it is very hard to see some of the similarities of the two systems. The blocks and hand man oeuvres such as grabbing, sticking, and energy techniques have their roots in Wing Chun but the finished product is pure JKD. JKD has had such an influence in the martial art word the even the core art of Wing Chun has adopted JKD sparring techniques. The second of the three arts in the core of original JKD is French Fencing.

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The footwork is a combining and modifying of fencing, Wing Chun, boxing movements, placements and displacements. And the final art of Western or American Boxing for the Muhammad Ali hand man oeuvres and punches. The Definition of the Jeet Kune Do Symbol Instead of opposing force by force, a JKD practitioner completes his opponent's movement by 'accepting' his flow of energy as he aims it, and defeats him by 'borrowing' his own force. In order to reconcile oneself to the changing movements of the opponent, a JKD practitioner should first of all understand the true meaning of Yin/Yang, the basic structure of JKD. Yin Yang The importance of the Yin Yang is to show that opposites occur in nature. In essence, they must occur, for without light how would we know what darkness is? These opposites are in constant interplay; meaning nothing is truly an independent entity.

The Arrows The arrows emphasize that here is dynamic interplay between the opposites. Nature and we are constantly changing. We go from action to rest, or from pliable to firm, from being awake to being asleep. The Writing The Characters say ' Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation'. Even today JKD is still best in effectiveness in real life self defense situations, and when your life or the life of a loved one is at stake this is what you want and need